Friday, September 21, 2007
Violence against men goes up
Story: KOFI YEBOAH
THE number of domestic violence cases reported by men against women in Accra is increasing, while those reported by women against men are on the decline.
According to statistics at Accra Regional Office of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, between January and August 2007, 150 cases were reported by men, as against 116 cases for the whole of last year.
On the other hand, 2,380 cases were reported by women between January and August 2007, as against a negligible figure in the previous years, while assault cases dropped from 1,902 between January and August 2006 to 1, 420 within the same period this year.
On reported cases of threat against women, the statistics showed a decline from 482 between January and August 2006 to 152 within the same period this year, while rape cases also dropped from 142 in 2006 to 89 in 2007.
Reported cases of defilement decreased from 482 in 2006 to 255 in 2007, while cases of abduction reported also declined from 148 in 2006 to 76 this year.
Furthermore, reported cases against men who exposed their children to harm dropped from 86 within the same period last year to 63 this year, while cases of indecent assault against men dipped from 47 in 2006 to 32 in 2007.
With regard to reported cases on offensive conduct against men, the figure declined from 192 last year to 121 this year, while cases of incest also dropped from three to two.
The statistics indicated that more men were reporting domestic violence cases at DOVVSU. Between January and August this year, some of the cases reported by men against women were threat, 18; offensive conduct, 29; stealing, 14; exposing children to harm, 10; causing harm and damage, 15; failing to cater for children, five; attempted abortion, two; sexual harassment, three, and abduction, six.
According to the officials of DOVVSU, although more men were beginning to report cases of domestic violence to the unit, they were nevertheless shy of appearing in court, as a result of stigmatization.
Last Monday, a man was reported to have walked into the offices of DOVVSU in Accra with blood oozing from his nostrils and face to report a case of assault on him by his wife.
He was said to have told the police that his wife had been beating him for a long time but now he had decided to report the matter to the police so that she did not kill him.
According to the Public Relations Officer of Accra DOVVSU, Inspector Irene Oppong, in some instances, the men who reported the cases looked capable of beating their wives who assaulted them but they preferred reporting the matter to exacting revenge.
She attributed the growing confidence men had in DOVVSU to outreach and awareness creation programmes undertaken by the unit to sensitize the public to the fact the unit did not exist only for women.
Inspector Oppong said men had now realized that everyone could be a victim of domestic violence and so they were no longer ashamed to report cases to the unit.
According to her, the cases of sexual harassment were normally about women who wanted to go back to their men after a broken relationship.
She said against the wish of the men, ‘come-back” women resorted to calling the men on phone and visiting them in their offices.
Inspector Oppong said with regards to cases filed against women for lack of care, it was observed that although the men provided money for the upkeep of their children, their wives used the money for other purposes.
She said in other instances, some women packed out of their matrimonial homes and abandoned their babies.
Daily Graphic - Friday, September 21, 2007 Page: 24